While most people know about real estate agents, real estate negotiators – commonly referred to as RENs – are often neglected when it comes to everyday conversations about property. However, RENs are an integral part of the real estate business, and more often than not, are the ones responsible for negotiating and handling your property transactions, instead actual Real Estate Agents. (You can find out more about the differences between real estate professionals in Malaysia.)

Therefore, if you are a REN, or know somebody who is a REN, the anecdote below is a useful reminder that in order to be seen a professional in the industry, you must first be able to provide professional services for your clients.

Original article by Charles from kopiandproperty.com on August 18, 2017

The below was an actual conversation between two people. It happened two days ago, between a Real Estate Negotiator (REN) and a potential customer. They were visiting a condo unit in Gelugor, Penang. The unit was at Level 19. Their conversation went something like this:

Potential Buyer: How many floors are there in this development?

REN: We are looking at a unit on Level 19. It’s considered near the top. Total floors I think is 28 floors.

They arrived at the lift, went into the lift and the number of levels shown is until Level 35.

REN: Sorry, I remembered wrongly.

After viewing the facilities which the REN does not know well, the potential buyer asked about the car park.

Potential buyer: Where is the car park located?

REN: Oh, I have not yet checked, but I have the car number plate for the current tenant. It’s XXX XXXX. Just need to find the car and we know where is the car park lot already.

Potential buyer: Oh… (At a loss for words)


To be a good REN is not hard, really. By the way, a REN is a professional and thus should provide professional service. This is because RENs get paid when the transaction is a done deal. I am speaking as both the buyer and the seller since I have been both before.

Before. As a seller, I need my REN to represent me VERY WELL. The REN should ask me what would be the top three attractions that I personally like, as the seller. If the REN does not even know how to sell my property well, then how could I trust him? As a buyer, I need the REN to provide me with more information about the development, read about the area more and be ready to answer some of my usual queries. If I have to find out everything by myself as a buyer, then why do I need the REN?

During. Whether as a seller or a buyer, I expect the REN to know the development in question very well. For example, how to book the facilities, where is the actual car park lot, where can visitors park their cars, or even if there is an internal jogging track. Yes, of course the REN should ask the owner well in advance, or do his homework very well. The REN should also understand why I am selling (if I am the seller) so that he/she could provide me with the right advice on my price, offers, etc. If I am the buyer, I expect the REN to know if I am buying for my own home or for investment. He can then give me better advice according to the situation.

After. As a seller, I expect the REN to update me on home viewings, the potential buyers, and perhaps adjust my expectations accordingly after many viewings, if necessary. As a buyer, I expect the REN to call me and follow up and to offer further viewings of the same development, or even very similar developments to the one I have viewed. The REN should be able to offer me sound advice too on these comparisons for me to make a clearer decision. He should serve with the expectations that both the buyer and the seller would be his customers forever. It is certainly not a hit-and-run case…

See, actually it’s not that tough to be a good REN, right? The best RENs earn HUGE money. The typical ones would struggle and the bad ones would never survive even a few months. The best RENs earn even more money as each year passes because their customers – both the sellers and the buyers – would continue to use their services and even recommend their services to others. THINK. If the REN is a blur sotong (cuttlefish), would these recommendations happen? Treat it as a career and the world is full of opportunities.

All the best, RENs!


Charles Tan is the writer of popular Malaysian independent property blog kopiandproperty.com. His site averages over 1,000 visitors per day, and is updated daily with his thoughts and perspectives of current property investment issues from 12 years of experience. His articles have been published in New Straits Times, Property Insight, Property Hunter and other property related magazines as well as property fair publications, developer magazines and various property websites.